Metrobank prices $723-M rights offer at discount

Reuters

Posted at Mar 10 2015 04:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2015 01:54 AM

MANILA - Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co (Metrobank) priced on Tuesday its rights issue at P73.50 ($2) per share, a discount of about 21 percent to the stock's average price since the start of the year.

The Philippines' second-largest lender in terms of assets could raise as much as P32 billion ($723 million) from the share offer running from March 23 to March 27, the country's largest equity offering in two years.

The bank is offering one rights share for every 6.3045 common shares held as of March 18, it said in a filing to Manila stock exchange.

Shares of Metrobank rose as much as 0.7 percent to hit P94.50 in a largely flat market.

Analysts said the discount was aimed at attracting as many subscribers as possible. "I think it's more of an incentive for the shareholders to exercise their right," said April Lee Tan, research head at COL Financial in Manila.

The bank is seeking to raise Tier 1 capital to comply with Basel III standards, keeping pace with loan growth while bracing for stiffer competition after the Philippines enacted a law allowing foreign banks to take full control of domestic lenders.

JPMorgan and UBS AG are joint global coordinators, joint international lead managers and joint book runners for the issue. The Philippines' First Metro Investment Corp is the sole domestic lead manager and HSBC is the transaction's co-manager.